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eG Foodblog: nickrey (2011) - Classical/Modernist: It's all Jazz i


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Hi Peter,

Yes it is a high end boutique and the prices reflect this. I'll definitely go back to the fish markets on Saturday and show you the more conventional retail prices.

Confirmed - I live in Sydney too, and every time I walk into Martin's I have a mild heart attack at the prices, though the fish IS beautiful.

For reference, I get most of my fish in Sydney's Chinatown and the prices are roughly half. Though mostly the turnover is in whole fish, rather than fillets, and the whole fish are sparklingly fresh. Still pretty expensive compared to Nth America though.

Nick - I see you have Movida Rustica. Is it a worthy purchase? I love Movida with a passion - planning a trip to Melbourne in Feb to get a fix of that and Cutler & Co/Cumulus Inc - but I'd been considering this book and am curious if you'd recommend it.

I've eaten at the original and twice at MoVida Aqui. The reason I bought the book was for the recipe for hand filleted Cantabrian anchovy on a crouton with smoked tomato sorbet. I'm totally addicted to this dish. In fact, I also bought and ice-cream maker to make the sorbet and intend smoking some tomatoes on Saturday when I cook my bacon. Could appear on the dinner menu that evening :smile:

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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If you haven't been to Melbourne in a while you might've missed the opening of MoVida Aqui. I'd rate it above the mothership.

I've eaten at both. Aqui has a more open space and seems to have benefitted from this as well as a broader approach that the larger kitchen allows.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Nick- forgot to ask what your deepfryer set up is? Just oil in a pot or dedicated fryer?

Hi Heidi, It's a dedicated deep fryer. I bought one that was stainless steel so when it is stipped down all the parts that come into contact with the oil (except the element) can go in the dishwasher. After use, I filter the oil through what looks like an oversized coffee filters.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Tonight's theme is Greek so I decided to make up some taramasalata with the tarama that I bought at the fish market on Sunday.

The ingredients are pretty simple. Old white bread soaked in milk, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, tarama.

Tarama ingredients.jpg

I started off pounding it all in a mortar and pestle but gave up when it filled the mortar. So into the food processor it went. Adjusted lemon juice and olive oil to taste and that's it.

Taramasalata.jpg

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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In the last picture of your bookshelf, I see a white book with "India" on the side. Is that the one by Pushpesh Pant? I've been eying that in Shanghai. Have you cooked much out of it?

The fish in Sydney is gorgeous; I'm so jealous. I remember all the seafood I ate when I was there several years ago, and I thought the quality of the everyday product available was the nicest I've eaten anywhere in the world - and I'm from Nova Scotia and have lived in Japan.

Where's that olive oil from?

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In the last picture of your bookshelf, I see a white book with "India" on the side. Is that the one by Pushpesh Pant? I've been eying that in Shanghai. Have you cooked much out of it?

The fish in Sydney is gorgeous; I'm so jealous. I remember all the seafood I ate when I was there several years ago, and I thought the quality of the everyday product available was the nicest I've eaten anywhere in the world - and I'm from Nova Scotia and have lived in Japan.

Where's that olive oil from?

Yes the book is the one by Pushpesh Pant. You'll note it is away from my other Indian books because it is a very recent purchase that I have not as yet put it in its proper place. As a consequence, I haven't cooked anything out of it yet but have full intentions of doing so.

The olive oil is one that I bought in a large container on a trip home to South Australia last year. With it's Mediterranean climate, it's perfect for growing olives and is one place where the Australian olive oil industry started many years ago. Because olive oil spoils, I decanted the oil into cleaned wine bottles and sealed them with a vacu-vin vacuum wine sealer. The label is hand written by me, the brand is Lucilla. I bought it at the Willunga markets, which are a foodies paradise in a small country town next to the McLaren Vale wine district.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Ok, on to dinner and then I'll resume my tour of food suppliers that I frequent.

For dinner tonight, I decided to do something a bit more traditional than much of what you've seen so far.

Because I'm working, I'll quite often want to throw something together. In this case, it was a marinated spatchcock with a Greek salad.

First the spatchcock (poussin).

spatchcock.jpg

I bought this from the local butcher, more on that in the next post.

Next, remove from plastic and use poultry shears to snip down on side of the backbone (see Shelby, you're not the only one who has graphic pictures).

spatchock half cut.jpg

Then cut down the other side and remove the backbone/neck. Ollie got this.

spatchcock backbone removed.jpg

Flip the bird over and push down on the breastbone to flatten the bird.

spatchcocked.jpg

Next put in your favourite marinade for a few hours.

I used lemon, olive oil, salt, finely chopped garlic, and Greek oregano.

marinade ingredients.jpg

The push skewers through the bird to make it rigid for cooking.

skewered.jpg

Normally I grill outside on our baby Weber charcoal grill but it was raining this evening so I did it on a Le Creuset grill pan. It works but I missed the smoky flavour.

It was served with a Greek Salad of cucumber, onion, olives, feta cheese, and tomatoes.

dinner day 3.jpg

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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A number of people have asked about non-supermarket type shopping here, such as in specialist butchers and greengrocers.

Today I went to the butcher to get the spatchock for dinner. Again, this is a fairly expensive local one, but you'll get the idea.

This store is owned by the Penny family, who also have one in Dee Why on the Northern Beaches.

pennys.jpg

I'll let the next pictures speak for themselves.

pennys1.jpg

pennys 3.jpg

pennys4.jpg

The meat is of excellent quality and they will take special orders (I get my veal bones from here to make veal demi-glace).

I won't make it across to one of my other favourite butcheries, AC Butchery in Surry Hills, this week but that is where I get my special orders of brisket and pig belly for my bacon.

I should note that there are three dedicated butcher's shops within 2-3 kilometers (less than a mile) from my house.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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But even with all these nice specialty shops, we're actually blessed with a high-quality independently owned market at the end of our street.

Let me take you for a pictorial tour.

Part of the fruit and veg section.

iga 3.jpg

Seafood that comes from Da Costi Seafoods, who have a big presence at the Sydney Fish Markets.

iga 4.jpg

iga 5.jpg

The cheese section

iga 6.jpg

Smallgoods

iga 7.jpg

Part of the meat section

iga 8.jpg

The gourmet section, which is ideal for those last minute purchases of Ortiz anchovies and the like.

iga9.jpg

Australians also love their Asian food, so there is an Asian section.

iga3.jpg

We also have Asian specialist grocers nearby where you can buy things like fresh turmeric and coriander with the roots attached.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I'd like to briefly interrupt the blog to express my condolences to those who have lost property and loved ones in the flood tragedy that is unfolding in South-East Queensland. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of trials.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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That's my kinda market.

I didn't realize spatchcock is also a noun. Can you elaborate on the meaning of a size 5 bird? I'm used to the fryer-broiler-roaster concept.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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That's my kinda market.

I didn't realize spatchcock is also a noun. Can you elaborate on the meaning of a size 5 bird? I'm used to the fryer-broiler-roaster concept.

It's quite simple. You multiply the size by 100 and it tells you how heavy the bird is in grams (5 = 500g, 11 = 1.1kg, etc).

And you're right, spatchcocking is what you do to it. Not sure why it crept into the bird's name. Conventionally here it would be called a "poussin."

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Ok, on to dinner and then I'll resume my tour of food suppliers that I frequent.

For dinner tonight, I decided to do something a bit more traditional than much of what you've seen so far.

Because I'm working, I'll quite often want to throw something together. In this case, it was a marinated spatchcock with a Greek salad.

First the spatchcock (poussin).

spatchcock.jpg

I bought this from the local butcher, more on that in the next post.

Next, remove from plastic and use poultry shears to snip down on side of the backbone (see Shelby, you're not the only one who has graphic pictures).

spatchock half cut.jpg

Then cut down the other side and remove the backbone/neck. Ollie got this.

spatchcock backbone removed.jpg

Flip the bird over and push down on the breastbone to flatten the bird.

spatchcocked.jpg

Next put in your favourite marinade for a few hours.

I used lemon, olive oil, salt, finely chopped garlic, and Greek oregano.

marinade ingredients.jpg

The push skewers through the bird to make it rigid for cooking.

skewered.jpg

Normally I grill outside on our baby Weber charcoal grill but it was raining this evening so I did it on a Le Creuset grill pan. It works but I missed the smoky flavour.

It was served with a Greek Salad of cucumber, onion, olives, feta cheese, and tomatoes.

dinner day 3.jpg

That chicken looks SO good.

I've seen the flooding--MAJOR flooding that's happening over there. Is it really bad where you live? Are a lot of crops being washed away?

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Nick- the bread you used in the taramasalata looks rustic with high chewy crust to crumb ratio. Did all that crust go into the dish?

I've always used Claudia Roden's recipe that calls for all the crust to be removed. None went into the taramasalata.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I've seen the flooding--MAJOR flooding that's happening over there. Is it really bad where you live? Are a lot of crops being washed away?

The flooding is affecting an area that is being quoted in the media as being larger than France and Germany combined. It is hitting some of our growers and also has flooded a number of mines that produce coking coal for steel production. It's going to have a major economic as well as social impact.

We're a long way from it here. Brisbane to Sydney is about equivalent in distance to New York to Detroit. The floods are coming into the north of our state but will not reach here as the river system pulls away from the coast. As an aside, the area of Australia is slightly smaller than the contiguous 48 states of the USA. Our population is crowded into a few main centres around the coast with huge tracts of desert in other parts. Far from all being the stereotypical rugged outback dwellers (although there are definitely some of those), we are the most highly urbanised country on the planet.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I remember my first stop in a Western country after solid three years in Asia was Sydney. The first thing I did was walk over to the nearest Woolworth's and stand in front of the cheese section. I may have taken a picture just like the one above!

Your kitchen looks like a tight ship - and somewhat bigger than mine, so don't feel too bad. What do you like to use your pressure cooker for? I had one in Korea and used it for rice all the time - it really turned out a nice product; especially all the multi-grain rice blends available there.

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I remember my first stop in a Western country after solid three years in Asia was Sydney. The first thing I did was walk over to the nearest Woolworth's and stand in front of the cheese section. I may have taken a picture just like the one above!

Your kitchen looks like a tight ship - and somewhat bigger than mine, so don't feel too bad. What do you like to use your pressure cooker for? I had one in Korea and used it for rice all the time - it really turned out a nice product; especially all the multi-grain rice blends available there.

Wow, a kitchen smaller than mine. I tip my hat to you.

I use the pressure cooker for making stocks (as seen in an earlier post), cooking beans, lamb shanks, making stews and any dish that could be made in a slow cooker. I like to think of it as a slow cooker on steroids. Although I know curries can be made in it, I prefer doing them the old fashioned way to give a greater control over the properties of the gravy.

I use the rice cooker from my sous vide rig for its primary purpose when it's not hooked up to the PID controller.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Wow - my kitchen is virtually identical to yours..! Spookily so. You turn out some amazing creations from yours, I need to step up my game!

Anyway, how do you find the sous vide rice cooker rig? Works well? I'm just about to pull the trigger on buying a controller, it makes much more sense both space and $ wise than the otherwise very tempting Sous Vide Supreme.

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Wow - my kitchen is virtually identical to yours..! Spookily so. You turn out some amazing creations from yours, I need to step up my game!

Anyway, how do you find the sous vide rice cooker rig? Works well? I'm just about to pull the trigger on buying a controller, it makes much more sense both space and $ wise than the otherwise very tempting Sous Vide Supreme.

As you say, the controller and rice cooker makes much more sense in a small kitchen, especially with other gadgets competing for cupboard space. Take off the controller and you also have a rice cooker! Some people use the controllers to turn it into a slow cooker as well.

I use the Sous Vide Magic. Once it's calibrated to your cooker, it holds steady as a rock on the target temperature. My practice is to fill it with water a few degrees above the target temperature. When you add the cold (or frozen) food, the temperature drops to around the target. The PID then just maintains the temperature rather than having to push it up. On Blackp's suggestion I bought an Eheim aquarium air pump 100, which circulates the water to keep the temperature stable throughout the cooker. This is so silent if the rice cooker is closed, you need to put your hand on it to feel the vibration to check that it is working.

Frank Hsu, who owns the company that produces the SVM, is based in Toronto but used to live, study, and cook in Sydney. He is sure to look after you. Make sure that the rice cooker you have is not one of those fancy electronically controlled one that does your rice, your washing, etc. The controller in those does funny things when it is turned on and off as happens with a PID controller.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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